13 February, 2017
Nearly a week after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, the NFL has weighed in on what Texas' so-called "bathroom bill" could mean for future championship football games in Texas.
"The NFL embraces inclusiveness", NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email to the Houston Chronicle, reiterating a stance the league has taken before.
"We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events and National Football League policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard", McCarthy said in a statement.
With Houston drawing huge attention and revenues from hosting Super Bowl 51 last weekend, the impact of losing any hope of another host role either there or in Dallas, which hosted the 2011 Super Bowl, could be devastating.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick reiterated that his office remained committed to "making sure that every Texas is welcomed" at sporting events.
Government buildings, public schools and universities must designate use of dressing rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms based on a person's biological sex as it is listed on their birth certificate.
The Texas legislation ― known officially as the Texas Privacy Act, or SB6 ― was introduced in January and is similar to a law passed a year ago in North Carolina.
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According to an interview from CBS News, Jessica Shortfall of Texas Competes says similar effects have been seen in North Carolina after their bathroom bill was enacted.
The NFL will nearly certainly not be the last sports league to weigh in on this issue.
The NCAA hasn't commented on the Texas bill. The NCAA has already made its feelings known for this kind of bill, and the Final Four is scheduled to be in San Antonio next year.
Among the events pulled were first- and second-round men's NCAA tournament basketball games in Greensboro.
North Carolina has yet to repeal the bill despite massive opposition within the state.
North Carolina didn't really have any league events to threaten, other than an owner's meeting at a suburban Charlotte resort last spring.